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Complete Review of Scottish Power: news & deals

Scottish Power has been around for decades and is one of the most established energy providers in the UK. With a wide range of tariffs, an extensive amount of extra services and energy grants to help customers who struggle to pay their bills, the energy giant goes far beyond just offering energy deals.


Electricity: Coal, natural gas, nuclear, renewable, other  100% wind sourced electricity
Fuel mix score: ★★★  Some competitive tariff options
Domestic market: Scotland, England and Wales  Warm home discount offered
Customers: 31.67 million  Very poor customer reviews
Selectra score: ★★  More expensive than independent suppliers

About Scottish Power

Not many energy suppliers can boast 118 years of experience. Since its birth well over a century ago, Scottish Power has evolved into one of the most seasoned energy companies in Britain.

The Glasgow-based supplier is one of the UK’s six largest gas and electricity suppliers. It delivers gas and electricity to over five million households and businesses across the UK.

Quick facts

  1. Scottish Power’s cheapest tariff matches Ofgem’s energy price cap.
  2. The supplier holds 10% of the UK’s energy market share.
  3. It takes 3.5 minutes on average to get through to a Scottish Power customer service agent on the phone.
  4. 15% of Scottish Power’s energy is made up of renewables.
  5. Ofgem receives 2,015 complaints for every 100,000 Scottish Power customers.
  6. 95% of customers on Trustpilot rate Scottish Power as ‘bad’.
Scottish Power infographic

Is SSE the same as Scottish Power?

No, SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy) and Scottish Power are different companies.

Both companies were created when the Scottish energy industry was privatised in 1990. Scottish Power was mainly formed from the South of Scotland Electricity Board, while SSE was formed from the North of Scotland Hydro Board.

Both suppliers are headquartered in Scotland (Scottish Power in Glasgow and SSE in Perth) and supply energy across the UK, but they are separate energy companies.

Is Scottish Power Scottish Gas?

No, despite the similarities in name, Scottish Power and Scottish Gas are not the same company. Scottish Gas is the Scottish name for British Gas, another well-known UK energy supplier.

Both Scottish Power and British Gas are members of the Big Six group of older energy suppliers that currently dominate the UK energy market.

Who owns Scottish Power?

Scottish Power is a subsidiary of Spanish energy giant Iberdrola. The Spanish company took over the UK supplier for £11.6 billion in 2006.

The current Scottish Power CEO is Keith Anderson. He was appointed CEO in February 2018.

Scottish Power energy networks

As well as providing energy tariffs to households throughout the UK, Scottish Power is also a Distribution Network Operator (DNO), meaning it is responsible for transporting gas and electricity to certain parts of the country and delivering it to households.

This part of the Scottish Power business is broken down into four brands, which are known as the Scottish Power Energy Networks:

  • SP Transmission Ltd - transmits energy to central and Southern Scotland
  • SP Distribution Ltd - distributes energy in central and Southern Scotland
  • SP Manweb Plc - distributes energy in North Wales, Merseyside and Cheshire
  • SP Power Systems Ltd - maintains and repairs the distribution networks
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Reviews

Out of the 4,340 reviews published by Scottish Power customers on Trustpilot, a whopping 96% rated the supplier as Bad. This is the lowest rating on the given scale. Reviews frequently mention:

  • Unexplained and unexpected increases in electricity bills.
  • Lack of clarity in bill calculations.
  • Long waiting times to speak to a customer service representative.
  • An inefficient and confusing complaints resolution process.

It is important to note that previous penalties and sanctions have been imposed on the supplier by Ofgem in 2015 for poor customer service and overdue bills, as well as its failure to implement complaints rulings from the Energy Ombudsman.

In fact, Scottish Power received so many complaints that Ofgem announced in September 2018 that it would open an investigation into the company's failing customer-service response practices. This is obviously a huge red flag to current and potential customers.

Redemption?

In contrast to the above, the latest Which? Survey has awarded Scottish Power high marks for its complaint response turnaround time. According to the supplier’s own website, Scottish Power received 26,833 in September 2018. Of these, 59% were resolved on the same day and 76% were resolved within five working days.

So what explains the mismatch between Which? and Trustpilot customer service reviews? Well, a good score for complaint handling doesn’t mean the supplier is excelling in other areas of customer service, such as call wait time and bill accuracy.

Find out more about these different aspects of the provider’s customer service in Selectra’s Scottish Power reviews guide (coming soon).

My Scottish Power account

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With the Scottish Power online account, customers can submit meter readings, pay their bills and track their energy usage all from the comfort of their own home! There is a separate account system for domestic and business customers.

Head to our handy Scottish Power login troubleshooting guide for details on how to log in and deal with any account-related login issues.

App

As well as the online account system, there is also a Scottish Power app. On the YourEnergyApp, customers can:

  • Manage account personal details
  • View bills
  • Track energy usage
  • Manage direct debit payments
  • Submit meter readings
  • Switch tariffs
  • Contact customer service through the app-chat service

The Scottish Power app is free to download for all customers from the App Store and Google Play store for Apple and Android devices respectively.

Tariffs and prices

With Scottish Power, you have the choice of several fixed-rate tariffs and one variable-rate tariff. In this section, we provide a brief introduction to the supplier’s wide range of deals. For up to date details on each energy plan, check out our Scottish Power tariffs page

If you are interested in comparing Scottish Power tariffs to find the best deal, use our handy energy comparison tool to see how the supplier's deals compare to those offered by other providers. Alternatively, you can give Selectra’s energy experts a call on 1704 468004 (Monday-Friday: 7am-8pm). They can help you compare different tariffs and find you a great deal.

1. Fixed-rate tariffs

Scottish Power offers four fixed-rate tariffs. You may want to choose one of these if you are looking for price certainty since the standing charge and unit rates will remain fixed throughout the term of your contract. Two of these tariffs are fixed over one year and the other two are fixed for two years.

2. Variable-rate tariff

With Scottish Power’s variable-rate tariff, called Standard, if the price of energy goes up or down in the energy wholesale market, so will your bills. While you won’t get the same price certainty as you would from a fixed-rate tariff, you can avoid paying exit fees if you decide to switch suppliers.

3. Prepayment

If you have a prepayment meter, then you pay for your energy in advance by topping it up with credit before you actually consume energy. The tariff you’ll be on is the Standard variable-rate tariff.

4. Business tariffs

Scottish Power business tariff rates are some of the most competitive in the UK market. The supplier offers business energy customers a dedicated Business Energy Team, and customers can also get expert energy advice through the supplier's partnership with The Carbon Trust.

Depending on your business size and industry, Scottish Power aims to offer the right tariff for you. That is why it has separate plans for small businesses and for commercial companies:

  1. If you’re running a small business, you have the option of two fixed-rate tariffs, allowing you to fix your energy costs for up to 3 years. There is also one variable-rate tariff on offer.
  2. Scottish Power’s commercial tariffs would be better value for money if you’re working on behalf of a larger chain of companies, or your premises include an industrial site.

Find out what the differences between commercial and small business tariffs are, and the features and benefits of both, by reading our guide to Scottish Power Business guide (coming soon).

5. SmartPower EV

If you have an electric vehicle, the Scottish energy giant offers the SmartPower EV Tariff, which it boldly claims to be 90% cheaper than electric chargers at petrol stations. The benefit of this tariff is being able to charge your car overnight at a cheaper rate than what you would otherwise pay at a petrol station. The tariff applies the classic Economy 7 formula. Here is what you need to know:

  1. Discounted electricity unit rate: 4.736p/KWh
  2. Off-Peak hours: From 12:00am (midnight) to 5:00am.

How does Scottish Power compare to the market average?

What is the market average? The Ofgem price cap is the common benchmark used to measure the average gas and electricity expenditure of a standard household.

What is Ofgem’s price cap? The price cap sets a maximum ceiling on the amount of money your energy company can charge you per unit of gas or electricity on a variable tariff. This includes any additional fees for delivering the energy to your home. Most suppliers charge up to the price cap which is currently set at £1,179.

What would you spend with Scottish Power? Scottish Power matches Ofgem’s energy price cap on its variable tariff - Standard Variable dual-fuel - with an estimated annual cost of £1,178.49 for an average consumption household (3-4 bedrooms).

Is this good or bad? While Scottish Power is below the price, there are cheaper options out there. We can help you find the best value for money tariff for your household. Call us on 01704 468004 (Monday-Friday: 7am-8pm) to speak to a Selectra energy expert and get a quote.

Scottish Power price rises

Selectra news reported how Scottish Power raised its prices by an average of 5.5% in 2018. The increase is estimated to have affected one-third of Scottish Power customers, which would amount to over 960,000 households seeing their average bills increase by about £63.

The 2018 price rise was followed by another increase of about £177 to the Standard Variable tariff in April 2019 in response to the increased energy price cap. Accordingly, when the price cap was lowered in the second half of 2019, Scottish Power followed suit. The provider lowered the rate of its Standard Variable tariff by £76 per annum on average.

To find out more about fluctuations in price in response to the Ofgem-set energy price cap, take a look at the following Selectra guide: Ofgem changes the energy price cap again: How do I save?

Payment options

There are a variety of ways you can pay your Scottish Power bill. Let’s break them down one by one.

 Direct debit - with this method you pay an agreed amount every month and do not receive regular bills, just an annual statement. With the Scottish Power Direct Debit Manager, you can choose how much you wish to pay every month based on your usual annual energy consumption.

How much energy does your household use? Use our energy consumption calculator to find out. This will show you if you use more or less than the UK average and help you get more accurate quotes when comparing providers.

 Card - on receipt of your bill, you can pay your Scottish Power bill via debit or credit card (there is an administration charge of 1.5% for credit card payments) online, through the supplier’s mobile app or over the phone.
  • Pay online - log into your account, select ‘Make a payment’, ‘One-off payment’ and enter your card details. You can save the details so you do not need to enter them each time.

  • Pay via the app - simply download the app, log in, select ‘Make a Card Payment’, enter the amount and put in your card details. Again, you save the details so you don’t have to enter them every time you make a payment.

  • Pay by phone - call 0800 001 5115 to pay by phone. You will need to have your card details and account number to hand.

 Bank payment - you can also pay through a bank transfer when you receive your bill. The Scottish Payment bank details are as follows: Sort code: 83-07-06, Account number: 00674713.

 Cash - you can pay bills by cash at the bank or a Paypoint outlet (do not send cash by post!).

 Cheque - you can send a cheque made out to Scottish Power to ScottishPower Group, Payment Collection Centre, PO Box 4740, WORTHING, BN11 9LT.

 Pay as you go - this means you pay for energy as you use it. You will receive an electricity or gas card which you top up with credit and transfer to your meter.

For extra help paying your Scottish Power bill, check out our ‘Your bill explained’ guide. This breaks down each aspect of your energy bill so you understand exactly what you are being charged for and why.

Fuel mix - Scottish Power renewables

A supplier’s fuel mix refers to how its electricity supply is generated from each fuel source e.g. natural gas, coal, renewable or nuclear energy.

Through its sister company Scottish Power Renewables, the provider claims to be the UK’s leading wind farm developer while heavily investing in solar power development and grid storage systems. As of now (2018-2019), however, Scottish Power’s overall supply line is still heavily dependent on fossil fuels - largely natural gas (52%), with renewables coming in second and slightly below the national total (30%).

Despite the slightly disappointing proportion of renewables in its overall fuel mix, Scottish Power is starting to up its game. As of January 2020, customers can opt for a Scottish Power green energy tariff that sources 100% of its energy from the provider’s wind farms. It is expected that more of its energy will be supplied from wind power in the future.

Smart meters

A Scottish Power smart meter can be requested directly through the supplier’s website. This smart meter will send readings to Scottish Power automatically, meaning that you won’t have to worry about receiving estimated bills. It also gives customers greater access than normal meters for the purpose of monitoring consumption and budgeting.

Find out about the many benefits of switching to a smart meter and how to get one installed by reading our Scottish Power smart meter guide (coming soon)

Extra services

The supply of gas and electricity is not all that is offered by Scottish Power. To stand out from its competitors, the supplier has launched a range of other services that aim to help homeowners be more energy-efficient and make appliances more reliable. These services range from boiler care to smart thermostats. Let's have a look at what each service entails.

boiler

1. Boiler Care

Boiler cover is a must if you want to protect yourself from the costs of repairing or replacing a broken or faulty boiler. If you are a customer with Scottish Power you may receive a favourable boiler cover rate through the supplier’s partnered insurance company, Domestic and General.

The Maintenance and Support Plans available offer an annual service, repairs and boiler maintenance tips. Find out about the supplier’s policies, plans and prices in our Scottish Power Boiler Cover guide.

2. Plumbing, drains and electrics

Scottish Power has partnered with home emergency insurer AXA to offer customers insurance for plumbing (leaks, burst pipes, etc), drains (blocked toilets, clogged sink valves, etc) and electrical systems (wiring problems that fail to turn the lights on, etc).

You can choose from one of three types of cover:

  1. Plumbing and drains only
  2. Plumbing, drains and electrical
  3. Electrical only

3. Kitchen appliances

You can get Appliance Care for a range of kitchen appliances to minimise the risk of breakdown through Scottish Power’s insurance partner, Domestic and General. Some of the domestic white goods covered under Appliance Care plans include:

  • American fridge freezer cover
  • Oven cover
  • Washing machine cover

4. Electric vehicle charging

Electric vehicles are vital to achieving the UK’s net-zero carbon emissions target for 2050. Scottish Power is playing its part by facilitating the installation of EV home chargers coupled with the provision of attractive EV tariffs.

An EV home charger costs £899, including installation. Customers can apply for government funding to finance part of the cost, the details of which are as follows:

  • If you live anywhere in the UK, you can apply for a grant of £500 from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV). So instead of paying £899 for a Smart EV home charger, you would pay £399.
  • If you live in Scotland, in addition to OLEV funding, you can also apply for a £300 grant from the Energy Savings Trust (EST). Instead of paying £899 for a Smart EV home charger, you would pay just £99.

5. Smart thermostat

In addition to smart meters, Scottish Power also offers Smart Thermostats which let you control and regulate your home’s temperature, even when you are not there. Here is how it works:

  • You can use a dedicated app connected to your smart thermostat to monitor or alter your heating. So if you forget to switch your heating off before you leave your home, you can do so through the app.
  • When temperatures drop overnight in the winter, there is no need to worry about frozen pipes. The smart thermostat will detect low temperatures and switch the heating on automatically.

Scottish Power makes these available for £19.99 per month over 12 months with an extended warranty.

Scottish Power energy grants: Aid against fuel poverty

Scottish Power helps its customers avoid fuel poverty by offering two types of grants: the Scottish Power Warm Home Discount and the Hardship Fund.

1. Warm Home Discount

The Warm Home Discount scheme aids customers by giving out a rebate of £140 from the total cost of electricity during the colder months of winterwhen energy use typically rises. Find out in our Scottish Power Warm Home Discount guide if you are eligible to qualify automatically for a rebate and how to apply for it.

For expert advice on the Warm Home Discount, and other energy grants available, give Selectra a call on 01704 468004 (Monday-Friday: 7am-8pm). Our customer service agents can talk you through the application process and even switch you to a supplier that offers the payment so you can get the help you need.

2. Hardship Fund

If you find yourself in debt with your gas and electricity bills, you can apply for aid from the Scottish Power Hardship Fund to reduce or clear what you owe. Find out whether you are eligible and how to apply in our dedicated Scottish Power Hardship fund guide. Be aware that you must meet strict criteria to be eligible

Shares and jobs

When Iberdrola completed its takeover, it also acquired all Scottish Power shares. This means that any original Scottish Power shareholders may now hold shares in Iberdrola.

In 2006, Scottish Power sold its American electricity company PacifiCorp and announced a return of £2.25 billion to its shareholders. This cash was made available under a B share scheme (B shares were not purchased by Iberdrola during the takeover). These B shares were delisted from the stock market in 2007 and Scottish Power started a repurchase program to buy them back from customers at a share price of £3.60.

For more information on either ordinary or B scheme Scottish Power shares and share price, contact Scottish Power Investors at Equiniti Limited, Aspect House, Spencer Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN99 6DA.

Jobs

As a huge energy company, Scottish Power always has job vacancies across the country, including in some of the biggest cities like London, Glasgow and Liverpool. New Scottish Power jobs are advertised on the company’s website so keep an eye on the ‘current vacancies’ page to see what is available.

The provider also offers student graduate programmes, apprenticeships and trainee programmes. Being accepted into one of these programmes means starting your career with one of the world’s largest utilities companies! More details are available on the provider’s website.

How can I contact Scottish Power?

There is a multitude of different ways current customers can contact Scottish Power. In the table below we list the supplier’s main contact number, email address and postal address.

Phone number (customer service) 0800 027 0072
Email address contactus@scottishpower.com
Scottish Power head office Scottish Power Customer Services,
320 St Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5AD

For more specific contact details, for example, contact details for new and business customers, consult our complete Scottish Power contact guide.

Moving home

If you’re a Scottish Power customer and are moving home, you need to let the supplier know. Depending on your wishes you can cancel your supply or take it with you to your new home. Find out more about the process in our Scottish Power moving home guide.

Power cuts

As a Distribution Network Operator, Scottish Power will be responsible for dealing with power cuts and outages in its distribution areas. To alert Scottish Power about a power cut in your area, call the relevant number listed below:

  • Central and Southern Scotland - 0800 092 9290
  • Chesire, Shropshire, Merseyside and North Wales - 0800 001 5400

Selectra score

The criteria used for Selectra’s verdict is based on the supplier’s prices relative to the market average, its average consumer review score, its fuel mix and perks offered to customers. In addition, we take into consideration Scottish Power’s strengths and weaknesses.

While Scottish Power does offer a wide range of products and services, as well as a commendable commitment to greener energy, these positive points are overshadowed by its subpar customer service. Although smart meters and a smartphone app may be convenient, they are hardly revolutionary. Taken together, we have awarded Scottish Power 2 / 5 stars.

Scottish Power Selectra score - ★★

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